Join Us!

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Join us on our next Cultural Immersion Adventure!!!

 

Stay with a local family and enjoy home cooked local meals daily. Learn from local artists (painting, drumming, dancing, basketry and more), spend a day in a local wood shop and learn to make a project with a pro, daily Spanish lesson, play with local kids, beach days, see local attractions, shop where the local shops, pick up and drop off at the airport.

Since space is limited at this time to one family per advenutre, you will get one on one with my family while you’re there. We will show you our favorite places, people and things in the area!

Cultural Immersion Adventure-Dominican Republic

I hosted a Cultural Immersion Adventure from February 23-March 9, 2018.

I flew out early on the 23. I met my guest in Punta Cana. I doubt I would do this again. In the future, I will go a few days before my clients and pick them up from the airport.

We made our way to the hostel we had booked online. When we arrived we were infor,ed that we hadn’t actually paid for the room online and needed to pay cash. There was a mix up with the shuttle to the hotel that we had prearranged. We needed up paying a cab to take us.

 

We had an a,axing trip!! I had so much fun showing Angela all my favorite places and people on the north coast of the island.

 

We had beach days, plantation days and days with our host family, Ana and her daughter Jenny, we slid down waterfalls, hiked and ate our hearts out!!

I’m so excited to host another Cultural Immersion Adventure in the Dominican Republic. I am organizing wifi in the host house to make it easier for guests. I’m also arranging to have double over double bunks made for the bedroom. As well as sorting out hot water for the shower!

come join me for an adventure and deep cultural Immersion in the Dominican Republic! I cater each adventure to each family’s individual interests and passions.

Fill in this form for  more information on booking your Cultural Immersion Adventure

 

I’m Going Home!

On March 5 of this year, we will have been in Canada for two years. We have lived in 3 different provinces and had some pretty amazing experiences!

I’ve been homesick for a long time. We left behind friends and people that we felt were our family. My boys no longer cry that they want to go home. Every now and then Chesney who is now 7, will say something to indicate that he misses our old home. Once we were watching a show and they were going on a plane. He said “We need to go on a plane and see Papa Tony!”

I’m pretty excited to be goin home for a visit. It’s only for two weeks but its still exciting. Even more exciting is that I am going without the kids. I’m also taking a friend with me.

I will be vlogging about our trip. I have several topics ready for my vlog.

My friend and I area also heading to Haiti for a few days as well. I’m so excited about this! Ive never been to Haiti yet! We are also going to Dajabon, where the market on the Haitian border is. I want my friend to experience that!

 

Ive been buying shorts at the second hand store and the few things that I will need for the trip. I bought my tickets in December. I got a direct flight from ou home city of Edmonton to Punta Cana for $600 return.Which is a great price. The cheapest I could find return tickets to Puerto Plata was $1200 and that included a 19 hour stop over in Toronto. The bs from Punta Cana to Puerto Plata will cost no more than $40. I dont mind taking the bus. I’d also like to see what Punta Cana is like since I have never been there.

I will be staying with friends, so no need to au for hotels. We do have a couple of hostels and hotels booked for Punta Cana (2 nights), and Santo Domingo. However all the hotels and hostels didn’t cost more than $30 in total. I used a $50 credit we had from hotels.com for booing some of the rooms.

Food will be cheap as well. I have budgeted $20 per au for everything including food. img_3220

Teaching Our Children to Give to Those in Need.

I feel i need to teach my children the importance of giving back to the communities that we live and to those less fortunate than we are. I try to let the kids see me doing this everywhere we go.

Giving back to the communities that we are in can be small things such as volunteering for a local organization,, helping a neighbour or buying a school uniform for a child in need. I believe that we need to be the change we want to see in the world. Our children need to see this modelled so that they will do the same when they get older. This is how we make the world a better place and global citizens!

For the past month, our family has been heading downtown every Sunday to feed the homeless. The group that we are doing this with calls it a Sidewalk Party. We set up in front of the  homeless shelter for those in life for a bed. Everyone that comes to volunteer, brings something to share. It can be as small as a bag of chips  or leftovers from last nights supper.

 

Two weeks ago, I posted on Facebook that I was looking for donations of purses and handbags for me to fill with toiletries and hand out to homeless women. Just from doing that, I was able to get donations of hamburge,pasta, toothpaste, toothbrushes, purses, backpacks, handbags, sleeping bags, shoes, coats and so much more!

 

So this Sunday, our family is taking a car load of things down to share with those less fortunate. We have decided to take the purses and backpacks down down on another day to hand out to those that we see that need them. I don’t want to get swarmed and not have enough.

 

I will make a 5 gallon pail full of pasta salad from donations for the crew on Sunday.

My kids love being down there and visiting with everyone. Everyone that is down there is so polite and happy! This is one of our favourite things to do during the week!

Traveling on an Ultra Low Budget

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We have a set budget of $800 per month no matter where we are located. This is a pretty low budget for most but it works for us. I find that sticking to our budget is no different than setting a budget and sticking to it when you live a conventional life. Our budget is all about choices.

Everything we do is a choice. Every choice we make, affects our budget and how we live. For example I could choose to spent $500 on a beautiful Airbnb home that I found online. It wouldn’t leave us much for anything else but it COULD be done. It would be a choice for me to make.

Since we are on an ultra low budget, I normally don’t even look on Airbnb.com for places to rent. They are most often out of our budget. I do find cheap local hotels for a few nights and book a few nights there. ONce we are there we set out to find a house to rent locally. We walk around the neighbours and take photos of the For Rent Signs so we have the phone numbers later. We then ask a local to call the numbers for us and ask how much the rent is for them. They usually get a cheaper rate than if I called and asked. The owners would assume that I am a tourist and give me the tourist rate which is much higher than the local rate. In bigger cities, it doesnt hurt to ask for a discount in exchange for some kind of work. I’ve offered to cut the lawn in an entire complex for a reduction in rent.

You can also try to find your own workaway opportunities wherever you are. BY keeping my eyes open and wandering around the area and talking to people, I’ve been able to find local workaway like opportunities for our family. Getting discounted rent in a basement suite for helping a disabled man (washing dishes, laundry, light housekeeping, mowing the yard etc).

We almost always cook our own meals. We usually buy our food at the local market. We bring our own snacks and lunch when we go out for the day. We also bring water bottles for drinks while we are out. We try to eat like locals as much as possible. The more import foods you buy the more expensive your bill will be. Usually there is some local alternative that is similar to what you’re used to. Try it and you might just like it.

Depending on where we are, we often will just go to the Internet cafe for a few hours to get work done online, rather than getting internet in the house. Especially if we have to get a new hook up and the company wants deposits and possibly a contract.

I have a cheap flip phone that is unlocked that I bought from Walmart. No one wants to steal this phone! No worry of anyone trying to steal it. I get a local SIM card and put it in to the phone and then buy minutes as I need them. I use this phone to make local calls. It’s also good because if we are out and don’t speak the language, I can ask someone to call a business for me and not have to worry about them running off with my phone. I do have an iPhone that I keep in the bottom of my bag. I mostly use it in the house and to take the odd photo in a pinch.

We travel with 2 iPad minis. One is my 6 year old son’s for school. He has educational apps on his iPad that he likes to play. He also can watch Treehouse kids shows and Netflix if we have wifi that is strong enough. I have an iPad with lots of memory that I use for everything. I also have a small Bluetooth keyboard that I use for typing. I use the iPad for everything from blogging and vlogging to reading ebooks and watching movies. I can make and open word documents and all other office documents as I have those apps on my iPad. I like that it takes up so much less space.

We try to keep our baggage to carry on only. This helps cut costs when flying on discount airlines. A lot of airlines now are charging extra baggage or are heading in that direction.

We try to find as many cheap and low cost things to do as possible. The beach, nature walks, walking through local neighbourhoods etc. When there are attractions that are more expensive, try to find out if its cheaper to go on your own rather than with a tour. Also consider calling and asking if they offer discounts. Look online for coupons and other discounts as well. It can’t hurt to ask for a discount, the worst they can say is NO!

My best advice is set a budget that you can realistically manage and stick to it. It’s no different that if you  were in a conventional house. If we lived in a house and I only made $1,500 a month for example, would would have to make that budget work for us. We’d have to make choices to ensure that we could afford to live where were living within our budget. It’s no different for full time travel.

Since our budget is ultra low, I like to use http://www.numbeo.com to check cost of living in  the places we want to go and compare them to our home city or other places where I know the cost of living. This allows me to anticipate if our ultra low budget will be easily achievable in the place we are going to or if I will need to find some free places to stay like workaway or house sitting to save some money while we are there.

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